To date, the biggest perk of being a travel blogger was being invited by Visit Florida to explore Disney World for the day on the VIP tour. At first, when I saw we were going to 3 Disney parks in one day, I was dreading it but after learning about the Disney VIP tour, it was the most exciting news ever! They can easily cover all FOUR parks in one day.
Tips on Visiting Disney World in Orlando, Florida
- If you haven’t booked your flights yet, I highly recommend checking out Kiwi to find the best and cheapest routes. Might as well save a little on your flight to really get a VIP experience at Disney World! Check the prices here
- For my non-US readers, always double-check if you need a tourist visa or not. I use iVisa for all of this, and it’ll tell you if you need one and the cost right away.
- Also for non-US readers, get travel insurance. I think the US is pretty infamous now for how expensive a simple sprained ankle can be. Check World Nomads to get a quote.
- When you get the VIP tour you STILL have to buy the Disney park tickets. You can get discounts on them if you buy through the website Undercovertourist.com. Buy them here and check the different bundle sale options they offer.
- Quick Packing Tips: Dress comfortably! It’s silly to try and look cute in a flowy dress if you’re planning on riding roller coasters. Below are some of my favorite brands:
- Also, don’t forget to protect your skin. Florida’s known as the sunshine state after all. I always wear Sun Bum since it’s eco-friendly and smells like bananas.
A Peek into the Disney VIP Tour
So, obviously, Disney World private tours aren’t in the budget for everyone. There are huge costs involved, but they are booked solid with about 30 tours a day, so there are some of you out there considering it! I’d like to share the breakdown of costs for the Disney World VIP tickets as well as the benefits you receive so you can decide for yourself.
Cost of Disney VIP Tour: “Private Premium”
Tours range in price from $300 to $600 an hour. I was told by the guide that there is a MINIMUM of 7 continuous hours per day needed to book the tour.
Why the hourly rate difference? It’s based on seasonal travel. If you come off-season you get the low rate, and high season is the higher rates. Times like spring break, Christmas break, and mid-summer can show higher rates. You can call at 407-560-4033 to get rate quotes for the dates you have in mind.
There is a MAXIMUM of 10 people on the tour. I think this is a very generous number.
Let’s break it down.
You’ll pay $400 an hour at lowest with a minimum of 7 hours, which comes to $2,800 in total. If you had 10 people on your tour, it would cost $280 per person. This would be ideal for a family gathering with cousins, and aunts and uncles or pairing up with a family friend for a two family tour. If you had the average family of four, you would pay $700 per head. Considering the family of four would be kids who you pay for, you can just go ahead and keep it in your head as $2,800 bucks for the 7 hours of Disney heaven.
You’ll pay $600 an hour at the busiest times of year for a minimum of 7 hours, which comes to $4,200 in total. If you had 10 people on your tour, it would cost $420 per person. If you had a family of four, that would come to $1,050 per head.
The bottom line will come to: how rich are you? If you could get a group of 10 people in the off-season, and you were a family of four WITHIN that 10 people: that’s just $1,120 for your family of four to have the tour.
You could also do a bachelorette party with 10 girls, off-season, with each girl paying $280. I can tell you for sure that’s a lot cheaper than Vegas!
I think that’s a pretty killer deal considering what you get on a Disney VIP tour. Keep in mind this is just the TOUR price, not the ticket admittance – you must ALSO buy regular tickets to the parks. For park tickets, buy them on undercover tourist to get the best discounts. Click this link and bookmark it for when you’re ready to buy (and make sure to read all the bundle deals to save the most).
Although this article is about the Premium General Disney VIP Tour, which is customizable, it’s not your only option.
There are multiple tour types you can choose from which have different rates and rules.
For example, the Ultimate Day for Young Families VIP tour is great for the youngsters who want to see the classic kids’ stuff at Disney (Aladdin, Dumbo…) This tour is $299 plus tax per person, plus buying the regular tickets, food is included, and it’s offered Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays for 7 hours maximum.
There’s another one called the Ultimate Day of Thrills which is the same prices and rules but the itinerary is for thrill seekers, as you might have guessed.
I’ll cover the benefits so you can decide for yourself if a tour like this is something you should be saving up for.
Cost of regular entry tickets
You will have to buy entry tickets along with your VIP tour. They can set that up when you call to book. Disney isn’t cheap in general which most people who plan to go quickly find out and some opt to visit just one park. You can find all prices here and how to get better deals when you bundle parks.
July is considered peak season prices. Summer rates will be higher. You MUST get a park hopper pass but on the website I linked there, if you are going to Universal too, you can save a ton if you buy the tickets together.
What you need to know before booking:
- These get filled up FAST. So quickly, in fact, it’s shocking they haven’t raised the prices. You must call them at least 90 days out, but some book even 180 days in advance which is their furthest date out you can book.
- There is a 7-hour minimum as mentioned and that must be done continuously. You can do 7 more hours the next day.
- You can extend your 7-hour minimum tour if you wish and your rate will be decided on the time you release your guide at the end of the day.
- Infants count as a guest
- You must give 28 hours notice to cancel a tour or you will pay a two-hour booked rate fee.
- Pay in full at time booking.
- Bring ID if 18 and up and you must accompany your children. It’s not a daycare service!
- To book call 407-560-4033 or visit the Disney Reservation Center
- All tours require separate theme park admittance tickets.
- Dining fills up, make reservations WAY ahead of time.
Benefits of Disney VIP tour
1. Disney Fast Passes
By far, this is the best thing about the VIP tour. But you should know you don’t HAVE to be VIP to get a Disney Fast Pass and in fact, the lowest ticket holder will even have a chance at three Fast Passes at Disney World for free. Fast passes aren’t just for rides but get you to cut in line to take photos with the Disney Characters and front row at shows.
Cutting in line with the fast pass is THE COOLEST THING EVER and alone was worth the money, especially because I’m a roller coaster lover!
Not having to make your children wait in line to meet their favorite Disney characters would be a huge benefit as well, since these days thanks to people being crazy, the characters no longer walk around the parks for autographs they are hidden away and you have to wait in line to get a photo with them and autograph.
People were so obsessed with getting selfies with the characters and photos of their kids with Mickey for social media, it wasn’t safe for the characters. Also, selfie sticks are banned in Disney!
What is the Disney Fast Pass?
This means you get to go in the “fast pass” line which is like cutting in line. Sometimes the lines are very long so this can be invaluable at saving time. We rode some roller coasters over and over with no wait at all in the fast pass line.
According to my guide, if you buy a regular ticket to a Disney park you can get three fast pass cuts in line per day. After you use the initial 3, you can schedule to add one more. Once you use that, you can add another. If you plan well you could schedule quite a few in one day. You can schedule my making a Disney account and link your tickets; they only give out so many a day. All the details are here.
Download: “My Disney Experience” App and schedule/reschedule your tickets from your phone.
2. NO planning
Tours are fully customizable if you want to give your input, but if you don’t know a thing about Disney it really won’t matter. The guide will take you to all the best places. I didn’t know anything about Disney but got to see the Animal Kingdom’s best rides and a show, Epcot’s new attractions, and explore Hollywood Studios. We wanted to ride the Expedition Everest three times and our guide said sure! It only took about 20 minutes with the fast pass.
There are four Disney Parks and two water parks. You can research if you want or just let your guide surprise you. They know what the best places are.
3. Invaluable Disney tour guide
These guides know Disney like the back of your hand. If you DO have a lot you want to see and there are particular things you can send that over before your trip and they will make an itinerary to make sure you can see and do all that you want in the order that makes the most sense. They also can tell you all about the characters and share stories to keep the kids entertained.
4. A/C car, no crowds
You’re not only cutting in line with your fast pass, the BIGGEST thing that gets you to see the most at Disney (and really the only way) is that you have a huge luxury A/C van that drives you around the backside of the parks. You literally just get out and you’re behind the ride you want to go on. Enter through employee doors and cut in line to do the ride. You can escape the crowds completely if you don’t want to walk through the park (perfect for you celebrities reading this ;) lol jk)
They also pick you up from your hotel. Upon arrival to the Orlando airport in Disney, you could taxi to your hotel (and back) and not actually have to get a rental car. Many hotels offer shuttles to other attractions and you could think of that money-saving option as going towards your VIP ticket.
If you didn’t have a VIP tour, you would need to research a lot in terms of mapping out the parks, using the Disney trams, and knowing where the bus stops are for getting between parks. Plus waiting for these rides can take a lot of time from your day and make you much more tired.
Jungle Book show, you can get front row seating which means those kiddos would get pulled up on stage more likely. PS this was an INCREDIBLE show! I got happy tears!
5. Bonus perks
Your guide will do little things like getting you water or wait with one guest while the others ride a scary roller coaster.
One guest in my group left her phone on a rollercoaster (rides at Disney all have places to put your belongings). We were at the Jungle Book show when she realized it was missing. The guide had her stay and enjoy the show while he went to get her phone. She brought it back and all was good!
It’s also nice to have a “local” show you around. A Disney guide is basically that. They live and breathe Disney. For someone like me that hadn’t been since I was 6, it was awesome to have someone like that show me around!
Disney World Accommodation Tips
There are 24 Disney Resorts you can stay at. I recommend you stay on-site as there are shuttles that run for free from Disney hotels. If you do the tour, that’s not too important since they will come pick you up anyway, but it’s Disney and you should totally stay at a Disney Resort to get the full experience!
We stayed at the B Resort and Spa which is a luxury/boutique style hotel experience and I can highly recommend it. I mean, you NEED Mickey Mouse shaped waffles for breakfast to help get you pumped. At the time I was there, rates were a mere $99 for the most basic room. All rooms were spacious though (I did a tour), and it is a great deal.
Disney does offer Value Resorts like Disney’s All Star, Disney’s Music, Disney’s Movie. They go as low as $79 a night which is a pretty fair rate.
All Disney resorts come with perks. You get free pick up and drop off from the airport and free transportation to and from the parks. If you drive there yourself, you get free parking at the parks which are usually $20 a day. You’ll get a free “magic band” and extra “magic hours“. Click those links to see what that means (it’s really cool).
Got an RV or want to camp? Check out Disney’s Fort Wilderness to save more cash.
A Cheaper VIP Option:
After searching online for my next trip to Disney, I saw only one outside source selling VIP deals for Disney. On Viator, they have a 6-hour tour for up to 8 people for $900 which like the tour above, does not include the ticket price (or express passes). It’s truly JUST a guide that takes you around, plans your day ahead of time, books your meals, and leads you around. They drive you, too and ensure 10-15 minute wait times for rides. You buy your ticket and then let them take over. It’s a VIP budget option that is maybe more “boutique” than pure luxury, but it’s a pretty good deal if you just want the help getting around as the main benefit (if enough people come to split it). Check out all the details, reviews, and book Five Star Private VIP Tours on Viator.
The Most Luxe Hotels for Parents and Kids:
- Four Seasons Resort Orlando: This will give you a view of Cinderella’s castle if you get the right room (and the fireworks). It’s the #2 hotel in the city, it’s not in the park but they have a shuttle. While super luxurious it’s in character whether it’s Mickey Mouse Pancakes or with their Disney concierge. Read reviews here.
- Animal Kingdom Lodge: It’s completely in character for the kids but it’s not as luxurious unless you splash out for the Royal Asante Suite. Read reviews here.
For More Florida Posts:
- Visiting Kissimmee, Florida
- 3 Days in Miami: Little Havana, Wynwood, and More
- Exploring the Florida Keys
- Packing List for Orlando & Palm Beach
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